5 Easy Ways To Stay Close In A Long Distance Relationship

Thankfully the internet has made it easier than ever to stay connected with your other half. Those sectors apart will seem closer if you use the following tools to communicate.

You'll notice that some of the suggestions are rather obvious, however, I want you to re-think how you use them. Without further adieu here are some ways to get closer to your partner:

Text message – Probably one of the easiest and most convenient ways to get in touch with your other half. Texting is common and there are a lot of programs you can use. If you're using a smart phone you can try using What's App. This app allows you to text for free to any type of smart phone that has the same app installed. It comes with a download fee but you'll save that money many times over when using regular text messaging. It needs a smart phone internet data but barely uses up your allowance.

Email – Another easy way to bridge the distance. Instead of regular email messages try sending a joke or include some pictures to liven things up. Email is better than web chatting or texting because you can add a lot of things to make messages come alive. Why not try sending a funny YouTube clip you found or even a website to plan your next vacation together?

Video Chat – You can use services like Skype to video chat for free. Just make sure you have a good webcam and mic (if you're using a laptop they are typically come installed). Video chat is an excellent way to catch up and actually see how your other half is doing. Other places like Google+ hangouts are great as well because you can have a video chat while watching YouTube clips together!

Phone Call – The traditional approach is a phone call. Dial them up to say hi and catch up. If you get a voicemail answer leave a nice sweet message.

Traditional Mail – Not many people use traditional mail anymore which is why I am recommending it. Nothing is more personal than a traditional letter written from your significant other. Make it handwritten, draw some pictures, include some funny magazine clippings and even place some of your fragrance on to it. I am sure their faces will light up when they receive it.

Just remember to not smother the other person. Give them some room but make them feel wanted. There is no secret formula for how much and often this should happen but you two should talk about it.

Hopefully the above recommendations helped give you some ideas on how to keep a long distance relationship .

Primary Assembly Ideas For Christmas

You are probably well aware that everyone has a preferred learning style. It's our preference as to how we interact and process the world around us. Some people are experiential, some process by thinking, some by doing, some in relationship with others etc. The list goes on and can get quite complicated. So let's make it simpler. Terry Clutterham of Scripture Union came up with the idea of ​​hearts, heads and hands.

If you are a heart person you prefer to learning by experience; if you are a heads person you like to think about it; and if you are hands person then you like to do. Roughly speaking, any large group of people will have about a third of each learning type in it. In practice that means that if you do your assembly and it's all thinking, then only one third of the children will 'get it'. Worse than that, the other two thirds may well disengage with what you are doing and start to wriggle and mess. So the guide is to make sure that you include something for everyone.

Hang on, how can you get them involved in your Christmas assembly when they are all sitting on the floor in front of you? Well there are some things that you can do. Firstly if it is a smaller school you can give them anything cheap and reproducible like a photocopy of, say, pictures that tell the Christmas story. So from the front you could tell the story, and then have the children retell the story to one another, using the pictures as a guide.

This will then engage their brains in remembering what to say (heads), talking (hearts), and they are actually doing something (hands). You could take this idea one stage further. Mix up the pictures, or even give groups of children a pack of 6 cards with the pictures, mixed up, that they have to put in what they think is the right order before you say anything. Tell the Christmas story and then get them to check if they got it right or they need to change something.

What if it is a big group of children? Think for a moment, how often do we watch chat shows (stay with me, it will all makes sense)? Have you ever considered the fascination of it, no matter what your learning preference. It's because we catch something of the emotion and interaction of the guest and host on the stage, and lose ourselves in that interaction. We also compare our story, and there before make sense of who we are, by listening to their story.

Let that help you in your Christmas primary assembly. Get one of the kids up to help you, and then interact with that child.Let them experience whatever it is that you want to achieve. Get your message across to this one child and you will find that all the children catch it. Remember to keep the hearts, heads and hands involved.Let's apply that.

Returning to our original idea, have six children stand at the front of the assembly holding up large pictures on card of the key elements of the Christmas story:

  • Angel (no wings please! They do not have wings) – the annunciation
  • Donkey – Mary and Joseph had to travel 70 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem
  • Sign saying 'no room'
  • Hay
  • Manger
  • Shepherds – the first visitors

Give the cards out mixed up, and then have another couple of children come and organize the cards. Interact with them. Unless you are very experienced do not allow the rest of the children to start shouting out or else else it will just get out of hand. Then tell the story. Summarize the story by looking at the work done at the beginning of the assembly to see if they got it right.

How To Install a Wall Mounted Ironing Board

Almost every house has an ironing board, but they can take up ample, needed space in the house. If you find that your ironing board is always getting in the way, there is a different approach that you can take – installing a wall mounted ironing board. This will ensure that you have access to the ironing board but it is not in the way or taking up unnecessary space within your home. The best part is once you have completed your ironing tasks, you can simply fold up the board and latch it back onto the wall – no folding or storing necessary.

Easy Tips for Installation

Installing a wall mounted ironing board is simple considering that you have the right hardware. Make sure you purchase the right kind. You should choose one that's designed to take the stresses of having pressure applied – because it will not have the floor to support the weight that is rested on top of it. Do not risk injuring yourself or your furniture.

Step # 1: Choose an Adequate Location. Since the fact that it is a wall mounted board, you will need to ensure that you have a good location for it. Ideal locations will have floor space for you to stand and move around with ease, a power outlet directly nearby for the iron and a sturdy wall surface in which the appliance can be easily mounted. Your wall location will require the existence of a stud, because it needs to support weight. If you install it in a place without a stud, you are risking damage to your wall.

Step # 2: Drill the Mounting Holes for your Hardware. Make sure you drill at a desirable height and follow the manufacturer instructions for mounting. If you mount too high, you will not be able to reach. If you mount too low, you run the risk of damage to your back from hunching over. Once the holes are drilled you are ready to mount the cabinet and kit.

Step # 3: Mount the Board and the Cabinet. The cabinet is what houses the ironing board and keeps it from falling off the wall. Most come with a door or two that keep the board locked up until you want to use it. Use the screws that came with the kit for easy installation. If you so desire, you can put the ironing board cover pad on once the installation is complete.

Pointe Shoes With Hammer Claw and Mallet Toes

Getting into pointe shoes may not be a dream you feel you can fulfill if you have hammer, claw, or mallet toes. Misshapen toes may or may not hurt. They may be related to arthritis, or not. These kinds of toes indicate that the toe muscles have somehow become unbalanced. A common reason is from you wearing shoes that are too tight. However, home care and stretching and exercises can be performed, gradually alleviating these conditions, to some degree if not altogether. If you are ready to dance on pointe, improving your toes’ shapes and functions can be done while you take pointe classes.

In both your toe shoes and your everyday shoes, proper sizing is crucial. There absolutely must be room for your toes. If your second toe is longer, it is the toe that you choose shoe length for.

Especially pointe shoes, which must fit snuggly, and yet accommodate a long second toe. You are going to become very particular with toe spacers, toe caps and any other padding that will help your toes stay long in the shoes, and be protected from developing blisters and corns due to their bent joints.

A podiatrist may recommend orthotic insoles – made to fit your feet – and can also teach you ways to splint or strap toes to help straighten out the joints.

Learning ballet foot stretches and ways to relax all the foot and toe muscles will help you work with misshapen toes. Specific exercises for articulation and strength in the toes will help you straighten these toes to whatever degree possible, and develop the strength you need to dance in toe shoes, at the same time.

All dancers should pamper their feet with warm soaks and massage, and this will help you too, with your special project.

Don’t forget nutrition. Eating fresh foods, good lean proteins, and getting enough of the right vitamins that convert proteins to muscle in your body is important. The Vitamins B12, B6, and Folic Acid are needed for this. Add Vitamin D3, and plenty of dark green vegetables and salads count too.

Mosaic Surfaces

The surface that you choose to lay your tesserae on will be one factor in determining if your mosaic lasts more than a day. There are tons of possible mosaics bases out there but beware of inappropriate ones. Whether you choose wood, concrete, metal, or even plastic, you must know that it will hold your tiles. The best rule is that if it flexes then do not use it!


Wood is one of the most common mosaic surfaces because it is so readily available. Go to several yard sales and you will find tons of old furniture crying out to be used for mosaics. You can also buy unfinished wood shapes at various stores.

You do need to prepare your surface before tiling it. Either use a mixture of 1/5 Weldbond and 4/5 water or use a latex primer. Cover all sides and edges of the unfinished wood to protect it from warping. If your wood already has a finish such as polyurethane then you will just need to scuff it up a little so the adhesive will hold better.

There are several types of glue that can be used on a wooden surface. Some of the most common are Weldbond, Liquid Nails, and thinset mortar, just to name a few. You can also use any type of tesserae on this surface. Grout and seal as you normally would.


A concrete stepping stone, bench, or table are some of the most common forms of concrete bases used in mosaics. There is no need to seal a concrete form even though it is porous. Just be sure to use thin set mortar for your adhesive. It is the best glue for your cement surface. If you are going to use Weldbond then you will need to seal the stone with the mixture stated above.

Concrete pieces are great for setting outdoors as long as you use thinset. You can place these in your garden in any environment. The only drawback is that these are very heavy. However this could be a plus for a mosaic that you want to stay in place during inclement weather.

Another form of concrete is a backerboard or concrete board such as Hardibacker or Permabase. These are ideal for large wall murals. This board can also be used for outdoor projects. Just remember to affix your hanging apparatus before setting your tiles since it is too thin to nail or screw into.

Terra Cotta

A planter made of terra cotta makes a nice finished mosaic for your patio. Remember that terra cotta is very absorbent. You have to completely seal it inside and out. Thinset or Liquid Nails is the best adhesive for this surface. These can withstand any added moisture that your soil may introduce in the planter.

A helpful tip for tiling these would be to lay it in your lap or turn it upside down during the mosaic process. There really is no need to tile the bottom though.


Glass is very common because it is so readily available. Find this in the form of vases and pots. It is a little more difficult to add tesserae to a glass vase. The tiles tend to slip easily. You will need to use silicone or Liquid Nails as your adhesive.

To make a pretty votive cup, be sure to use a clear adhesive and cathedral glass. Cover the entire back of each tile so that you can not see the glue through the tiles.

Other Surfaces

There are many other surfaces available to use. Ceramic tiles, acrylic, metal, and fiberglass are great mosaic bases. You will just need to use the correct adhesive and surface prep for each one.

Definite No's

If you lay your mosaic onto the wrong surface then it will not last long. If the surface flexes then your tiles will pop off. If you tile something that will deceive such as wicker then you will ever have trouble. Just make sure that you are secure in your surface choice.

Creating a mosaic that will last forever is easy. Do you homework and check out all of the possibilities of success and failure.

Waterproofing Basements With Thick Film Coatings (Application Techniques)

Bituminous trowel applied thick film coatings are very popular and reliable products, used widely in much of Europe for external waterproofing of basement areas. The products are applied by trowel in 2 thick, waterproofing and crack bridging layers. The products originated in and are still primarily produced in Germany. They come under the realm of the German waterproofing standard Din 18195. These type of products are becoming increasingly popular in the UK, mainly due to their reliability and ease of application.

Thick Film Coatings can be applied by specialist spray equipment or by trowel. For most infrastructure tanking projects in the UK trowel application is the favored method. The contractor can carry out the waterproofing work without heavy investment in equipment or having to engage another specialist contractor.

The trowel application of the thick film waterproofing is usually carried out in two layers. However the way in which the two layers are applied is subject to some disagreement between different contractors.

Some contractors are using the traditional Method, whereby a notched trowel is used to distribute the thick film waterproofing over the substrate. This notched profile is then immediately smoothed off using the flat side of the same trowel. Once this first coat has firmed, the second coat is applied in the same way; a notched trowel to distribute the material at the correct thickness then a flat trowel to smooth. The steps taken are as follows: –

First Coat applied at 6mm with notched trowel.

First Coat smoothed down to 3mm with flat side of trowel.

Second Coat applied at 6mm with notched trowel.

Second Coat smoothed down to 3mm with flat side of trowel, total applied thickness 6mm, with two separate waterproofing layers.

The alternative technique favored by some contractors is what I call the open technique. This differs from the tradition in that the first coat is not smoothed down, but left to cure as a notched finish giving 50% surface coverage at 6mm thick. Once the 1st coat has hardened the second coat is applied with a flat trowel, infilling the gaps in the 1st coat. The steps taken are as follows: –

First Coat applied at 6mm with notched trowel.

First Coat left to cure (substrate is still open).

Second Coat applied with a flat trowel to infill gaps in first coat.

Second Coat dries to give a total applied thickness of 6mm.

In order to determine which is the preferred technique, it is simply a matter of going back to the basic principles of waterproofing. It is a fundamental principle of most waterproofing systems that it is better to have 2 coats of a material than one. In most cases one coat would theoretically be enough to achieve a waterproofed structure. However there is always a possibility of imperfections in the concrete or in the application of the waterproofing that can lead to small misses or pinholes. The second coat is there to make sure that a total seal is achieved under site conditions. With careful application the chances of a pinhole occurring at exactly the same place in two consecutive layers of waterproofing are remote.

With the traditional trowel application of thick film sealants we achieve two separate and complete waterproofing layers. With the open technique the possibility of voids forming between the 1st and 2nd layers is increased. There is also quite a high possibility of the second layer not fully filling the depth of the first layer, leaving pockets in the coating.

The other aspect to consider is curing time and rain risk. It is my experience that the 1st coat in both techniques will take about the same amount of time to cure. Although the open technique has a thicker layer which would normally be slower to cure, it is also open at the sides which leads to a higher surface area which will speed up the cure, so these two points considered together cancel each other out.

Where there can be more of a problem is if it rains between the first and second coat, particularly on a horizontal application sloped to falls. Most Bituminous thick film coatings will resist a light rain shower (not standing water) after a couple of hours curing. In the case of the traditional method, as long as the deck is well drained the rain will pass over the part-cured coating with no ill effect, water can not penetrate the concrete. With the open technique, rainwater can still penetrate the concrete, possibly getting in underneath the partially cured coating leading to reduced bond and slowed final cure. It is also likely that the open notches will retain water to a greater extent than the traditional method. This can not be avoided without all the notches run towards the falls.

For the above reasons I firmly believe that the traditional method represents best practice. It has been used for many years in Germany and has real advantages over the open technique which only has the advantage of being slightly quicker to apply. For further information or advice please visit our website by clicking on the following link: Basement Waterproofing

The Awe-Inspiring Pink Garden Rose

Although the Red Rose looks to be the darling of enthusiasts, it is actually the pink garden rose that walks away with the accolades. Wild Varieties and the original old gardens like the Hybrid Perpetuals, Centifolia, and Bourbons are mostly pink in color.

Pink has always had a mythical quality. The meanings associated with the pink coloring are many; appreciation, grace, perfect happiness, admiration, gentleness, and even 'Please believe me'! Dark pink flowers are said to denote gratefulness while light pink shows sympathy, admiration, gladness and joy, sweetness, and gentleness. Mauve shades can only mean enchantment, beauty, and love at first sight!

You have to also be cautious about the number you hand out! Two entwined roses mean 'Marry me' while one just conveys simplicity and gratitude. Six express a need to be cherished while eleven assure the recipient that he or she is truly and deeply loved. Thirteen is definitely not an unlucky number as far as roses go, as this means you have a secret admirer!

Some of the favorite soft pink garden variants are Mary Rose , Heritage, Bonica, Gruss an Aachen, and Marchioness of Londonberry which vie with the newer bright pink roses like Fame and First Light for attention. The Rose de Recht is a very old old garden which is almost magenta.

To add a sense of excitement and adventure to your rose garden, match bright red, orange, and yellow with your hot pink. If you prefer a more subtle feel of elegance you might want to grow your cool pink roses with purple, white, or blue.

If you want your garden to smell heavenly, opt for Heritage Roses which are highly fragrant and available in almost all shades of pink.

Miniature pink are also much in demand all over the world. Live Wire, Magic Carousel, and Rosie are very beautiful.

A few pink climbers can add that sense of mischief to your hedges and arches. New Dawn, Viking Queen, and Aloha are some of the popular pink climbers.

Many landscape gardens in North America are dotted with lovely pink roses and the best for landscapes are Magic Carpet, Pink Knockout, and O 'So Easy.

No garden is complete without an array of pink roses in all their rich and subtle hues and shades. Go ahead and indulge yourself, you are sure to be loved!

John William Waterhouse – A Short History

John William Waterhouse was born in 1849 in Rome where his father worked as a painter and his mother Isabella kept house. His nickname was "Nino". In the 1850's, the family moved to England and Waterhouse senior started a studio in South Kensington where they both worked for a short time. John was accepted to the Royal Academy in 1870, where he was influenced by both Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema and Frederick Leighton, and his first exhibition was in 1874. His paintings were well received and he was ecstatic.

He traveled to Italy on a number of occasions and painted a number of genre scenes. He is respected by many as the last of the English Romantic Painters.

He married Esther Kenworthy in 1883, the daughter of an art schoolmaster from Ealing, who had exhibited her flower paintings at a number of events in England. Unfortunately, they had no children. It is interesting that very few personal effects of John Waterhouse like letters or writings exist today, so his private life is mystery.

John painted mainly in oils, yet he was elected to the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour in 1883, but he resigned a few years later.

He was elected to the status of Academician in 1895 and taught at St John's Wood Art School and St John's Wood Arts Club and the Royal Academy.

Many would appeal that his most famous painting is "The Lady Shalott", which is about a grieving Elaine of Astolat, when Sir Lancelot does not love her.

He contracted cancer, but continued painting almost to the day he died in 1917. His wife lived for another twenty-seven years and died in a nursing home in London.

His paintings hang in many galleries around the world.

Candle Chandeliers

Chandeliers have a classical elegance about them, and of all the chandeliers available, the candle chandelier "takes the cake" because of its lighting. Whatever the make of the candle chandelier – wrought iron, crystal or antler – candles are fitted to it create a warm, romantic and inviting atmosphere. An incandescent candle chandelier, with shadows flickering around it, is really a spectacular sight. These chandeliers also give a medieval look to the place.

More than illumination, candle chandeliers are used more as mood pieces. It is as appropriate in a neatly ballroom as in the sleeping quarters. It does not belong either above the dinner table or above the bathtub.

What the candle chandeliers are not suited for are cramped living quarters, sleek furniture with clean cuts and lines or furniture with hard edges. This is because the candles exude a certain softness and do not look at home with such furniture.

Candle chandeliers require a bit of maintenance in the sense that apart from the regular cleansing and polishing of the chandelier frame, one has to also ensure that molten wax from the candles does not see into the nooks and crannies of the chandelier carvings. Accumulation of the wax will give the chandelier a mottled appearance. Another thing to consider is that if the chandelier is made up of glass or crystal, then you have to clean the surface thoroughly or the fumes from the candles will blacken them.

A candle chandelier glowing in all its exquisite beauty is a fragile object. It has a timeless appeal, but care and nurturing are necessary in order to sustain its glory.

What Does A Kate Spade Handbag Have To Offer?

It is safe to say that Kate Spade handbags have come along way over the past ten or so years. Kate Spade opened its first store in 1996, and since then these handbags have taken off worldwide. And not only are Kate Spade handbags becoming quite popular, but their wide range of accessories is also on the rise as well. This includes items such as shoes, sunglasses, and baby items among many others. In fact, the name Kate Spade has become a household name in the handbag industry. In such a competitive industry it is amazing to think that Kate Spade handbags have made their way to the top in such a short amount of time. A Kate Spade handbag is often the first choice of the fashion conscious woman.

The Kate Spade classic nylon handbag took the fashion world by storm in 1993 and it still remains the top choice of women the world over, which is quite amazing in the constantly changing fashion world.

The number one thing that you will recognize about Kate Spade handbags is their clean lines. This is something that a lot of designers are after, but when it comes down to it none do it better than Kate Spade. And in addition to these clean lines it looks that every Kate Spade handbag stays in style for quite some time. In other words, when you buy a Kate Spade handbag it will surely be in style for a few years. This makes it easy to justify the amount of money this type of designer handbag will cost you.

You should find it easy to find a fabric Kate Spade handbag to suit your needs, whether you need to match it with a work outfit or if you are going out on the town there is bound to be a handbag that is perfect for your requirements. The fact of the matter is that with so many options to choose from you will always be able to find something that is perfect for your style.

As you can see, Kate Spade handbags have a lot to offer. If you are interested in buying a new handbag you should at least look into what the Kate Spade line has to offer. You may be interested to know that Kate Spade handbags are among the best in the industry, and at the same time they do not cost nearly as much as some of the other designer handbags.

Garden Shovel Sharpening

Who would think that people would use dull tools for digging holes, cutting grass, branches, limbs or anything in the yard that needs cutting. But, I am here to say that I have seen it too many times to be astonished anymore. It just boggles the mind! The main use of, say a shovel, is to dig. To dig, means cutting small segments of dirt. If you "cut" the dirt with a sharp shovel, then you will do that task as fast as you can dig. But … If your shovel is dull, like I've seen a lot of people I know, then you're digging and using your weight to dig and dig and spending much of your time just spinning around and tiring yourself out.

If you have a project that requires cutting of any substance whether it be dirt, grass, branches of anything else, then sharpen the tools you are going to use for the task.

To sharpen your shovel, use a medium file and file about a 55-60 degree bevel on the top of the shovel. If you see any pits on the back side, then file them smooth at the same angle as the back of the shovel before filing on the front.

I sometimes use a rotary stone to grind my shovel instead of a file. Care must be taken to not grind too much material off the edge. Also, if you decide to use a grinder, take care to not let the cutting edge of the shovel get too hot while grinding. This can change the temperature of the metal and cause way more problems when you are digging.

One thing to remember. Dirt is the 800 pound gorilla when it comes to cutting. Dirt will dull any type of cutting tool faster than anything you can imagine. So if you have a need to cut through dirt, you should expect to be sharpening your tools more often than you would normally imagine.

6 Steps to Effective Customer Relationship Management

Nurture Your Customer Relationships

Simply put, customer relationship management is a way of tracking and nurturing your customer relationships throughout the customer’s life-cycle, as they move from prospect to customer, to repeat-buyer. Once a customer buys from you, it is much more profitable to make efforts to keep that customer, than it is to acquire a new one, because there is now trust between you. If your customer is happy with your product, then that customer is much more likely to buy from you again in the future, much more likely than a new prospect would be. That’s why customer relationship management is so crucial.

Don’t badger your customers to death with every product and affiliate offer you come across, especially if the products are unrelated to the product the customer originally purchased. Email your customers ONLY when you have something good to give them, some really helpful information, or when you have a really good, high-quality offer that would interest that particular customer. For instance, don’t email your Internet Marketing customer a “Free Gift Certificate” to your gift store.

Automate Your Customer Relationship Management

Well, how do you automate customer relationship management in your e-business? You use email, and a dynamic database. You use auto-responders to stay in touch. I’m not talking about your regular auto-responders that deliver a vacation or “out of office” messages while you’re away, either. I’m talking about sequential auto-responders.

Use Sequential Auto-Responders In Your e-Business

Sequential auto-responders allow you to pre-format and load a series of pre-typed messages to your prospects and customers. You benefit by not having to follow-up with these customers manually each time. Instead, your auto-responder delivers your messages on a timed interval set by you. To your customer, it looks as if you sent out each message yourself. This way, you stay in touch with your customer and not let them forget about you. When they have a need for one your products or services, your business will hopefully come to mind first and they will re-visit your site directly or by clicking a link in one of your emails, as a loyal repeat customer.

Personalize Your Messages for a Warm Feel! (Mail Merge)

Most decent auto-responders have mail-merge capabilities. This is the ability to merge personal information into your emails, like your customer’s first and/or last name or their email address, etc. This personalizes your email messages even further and gives your customer some “warm and fuzzies”. What’s more you set all this up just one time, and any new prospects or customers will get the same message series without you having to lift a finger.

If the sequential auto-responder you’re using has mail-merge capabilities, then it will automatically take that customers name and incorporate it into the email series you have set up. Usually the auto-responder service you’re using will have some sort of tokens set up for this purpose. Look at the example below. Let’s say your customer or prospect’s name is Bob.

Hello, $firstname, – That translates into: Hello, Bob.

You could also do this with a customers email address too, like “$email”. The token would be replaced with the customer’s email: bob@bob.tld

Do you see the power of mail-merge?

Use Lead Capture and Subscription Boxes

For instance, you could set up a simple box on your sales or download page that asks the customer for his/her name and email address in return for some free product, or simply just to subscribe to your newsletter. If you set up a page specifically for this purpose this is called a “lead capture page”. The information entered by the customer into your subscription box can be mail merged into the follow-up messages sent by your auto-responder.

Stay In Touch

Keep in contact with your prospects and customers. Set your auto-responder series to deliver your messages over an extended interval. There are several e-books and articles dedicated to this topic; however, if you want the first, most informative and still the king of auto-responder help, get “AutoResponder Magic”. This e-book once sold for about $17, but you should be able to find it free many places on the ‘Net. It has a plethora of information regarding auto-responders, as well as many examples you can build from.

Some Common Features of Bucket Elevators

Bucket elevators are an essential part of the equipment and machinery of mines, manufacturing, smelters and many other processing plants. They can be various designs, weights and sizes, depending upon the type of product that is being moved. Some of the common products that are transported via elevators and conveyors include, bulk foods, grains, metal ore and liquid substances. These elevators can be mechanical, hydraulic, electronic or operated through other means, including animal or human muscle power.

The buckets are typically attached to an endless belt or chain. This belt butts up against other equipment or machinery so that the contents of the bucket is transported from one location or level to another. These circular belts can be friction driven or chain driven. The surface of the conveyor can be rough or smooth.

The presence of the buckets on the belt indicate that the product being moved is liquid or maybe small bulk products. The buckets are filled and in the case of liquids the contents are transported to the new location and dumped or poured. The same process is likely to occur when the product is ore.

Products such as ore can be very heavy, so the equipment must be durable. Metal buckets are quite common. Elevator parts such as conveyor belts can be made of heavy fabric, metal, screening or straps. It is important that these parts be very durable, since most elevators are most profitable when they are run continuously. They may only be shut down periodically to perform routine maintenance.

The elevator can go straight up or down from one level to another. When this type of elevator is used, the product is placed into the bucket which is raised or lowered either through mechanical or hydraulic means. When the full bucket reaches the new level, the action of the belt causes the bucket to tip the contents into another container or storage area.

The contents may also be transported horizontally. In this instance, the bucket may appear like a scoop to move the product from one part of a facility to another. Moving products in this way can be done by fewer people than traditional methods. Usually the equipment is operated by a series of switches that provide power to the appropriate area.

It is also common for elevators to work on an incline arrangement. This means less wear and tear on the buckets and the connections. The product is placed in a bucket on the lower level and the conveyor or elevator belt moves upward at an angle. The bucket reaches the apex of a continuous belt rise and the contents are dumped.

Bucket elevators are manufactured by a limited number of businesses, the importance of good equipment with durable parts can not be overestimated. The businesses that use these elevators can not afford to shut down operations for a missing or worn part, Regular maintenance and inspections are critical to efficient operation. The manufacturing plant for the elevator equipment often provides technicians who do the maintenance work.

Parsley in General and As a Plate Garnish

In today's culinary world one of the most used and abused ingredients is parsley. It seems to be the go-to plate garnish for lack of anything better. I think the reason I have a problem with the use of parsley is because it is like picking the easy road in life. It is not the road less traveled, it is the highway.

Do not get me wrong, parsley does not have uses, acceptable uses at that. Ever need something green? Parsley is wonderfully green! Ever need something with a "grassy" aroma to pair with a wine sometimes? Oh, and who can forget those times for some reason you need a garnish really fast and parsley seems to be right at hand? Oh yeah, its cheap and easy!

I just feel guilty because even though the highway gets me where I need to go in a hurry, and it's the easiest way to travel, it leaves something to be desired. To me it is almost as if I would be twice as inspired to create more innovative and applicable garnishes if I never knew parsley inserted. Let's face it folks, parsley does not go with everything, yet sometimes we treat it as though it does. How many of us as chefs know better and yet continue to use parsley as a garnish on everything? It's like doing something you know is wrong but are pretty sure you can get away with, and yet still feel guilty about. Oh yeah people, its that bad.

So the next time you go to reach for that parsley please, do us all a favor. Remember how to brunoise? Make a lemon crown? A sprig of rosemary anyone? Anything that you can think of to stay creatively inspired, and to hopefully brake the monotony that is garnishing with parsley. I hope I have done a public service here. I certainly feel better after admitting my own problem with parsley. Liberated somehow. Just kidding. Kinda. Seriously though, try some other garnishes.

Copyright 2009 Garth Fournier

History Of Fireplace Stoves

The origin of the modern heating stove is intertwined with the history of domestic heating and cooking. From the Iron Age onwards humans, cooked to cook food and heat their homes with a fire source contained within their lodging. For ten thousand years or more the designs slowly matured to the point in the 18th century where it became obvious that the different requirements for cooking and heating would result in the creation of appliances specifically designed with each function in mind.

A number of factors had led to this desire for 'stand alone' heating devices. The middle class was becoming more affluent and demanded homes that separated kitchen, sitting room and dining room. Their upwardly mobile aspirations found cooking and eating in one room unacceptable. These same 'consumers' also began demanding heat sources, which did not waste 80 – 90% of fuel up the chimney – they did not have the limitless budgets of the landowners. Finally, the Industrial Revolution had generated a material ideal for the construction of heating stoves – cast iron. First perfected by Abraham Darby at Coalbrookdale in the early 1700s, cast iron was the Georgian's great construction material with all its attributes of easy manufacture, easy molding and good thermal qualities.

In the 17th century, country gentlemen had begun to experiment with stove like designs. In fact Prince Rupert, notably the nephew of Charles I, was probably responsible for the first convector fire. However, it took another 100 years or so before we saw the work of the two real pioneers of today's stove designs – American patriot, Benjamin Franklin and British aristocrat turned 'Yankee rebel' – Count Rumford. Franklin, who scientific experiments included the dangerous habit of flying kites in thunderstorms, realized that a fuel burning unchecked in a grate conveyed little heat to the room. His design employed a convection chamber, much like today's convector fires, to ring more efficiency out of the fire. Air for this chamber was often taken from the basement adding a degree of fresh air to the room. Rumford's contribution was less to stoves than to fires in general. He first suggested the chimney throat to control and increase flue pull. He also used a variable metal damper in the flue throat to add further control and stop down drags when the flue was not operating.

Whilst James Bodley patented the first stove design in 1802, his design was more of a cooking stove. In fact, during much of the nineteenth century, the love shown by the British for open fires limited the demand for stoves in the UK while their demand blossomed through colder Continental Europe and the USA. Many also saw stoves as responsible for the serious air pollution that London suffered for 150 years from the early 1800s onwards. The early stove designs did not burn their coal with any real efficiency. They produced foul smelling and irritating fumes, which caused, it was said, 'stove malaria' and 'iron cough'. Edinburgh's nickname of 'Auld Reekie' dates from this era and refers to the foul smell of smoke from its myriad of open and closed coal fires.

Stoves were alike more popular in the colder climates of Continental Europe and the newly freed American states. Scotland, with its harsh winters and readily available supplies of coal and iron provided an ideal spot for stove manufacture. The first third of the 19th century saw a number of innovators introduce stoves to the market. In 1830 Charles Portway designed and hand built his first Tortoise stove in Halstead, Essex. Charles ran an ironmongery store and when neighboring shops saw how effective his stove was, they all wanted one. Mr Portway started a small foundry, which, by the start of the twenty century, had produced over 100,000 stoves. Meanwhile in Norway Adelsten Onsum founded the forerunner to today's Jtul Company, Kverner Brug, in 1853. Onsum, an entrepreneur in true Victorian style started a number of industrial companies but it was not until after he had lost control of Kverner Brug in Norway's financial crisis of the 1880s that the name Jtul was adopted. As today the stoves were made in the newly cast iron and offered the previously shivering inmates of Norway, the chance to keep warm during the long winters at a reasonably acceptable cost. American designs tended to be less ornate and many believe that the 'West was won' on the back of the pot-bellied stove which heated the saloon bar and cowboy ranch alike. Many were portable and were moved west as new frontiers were opened up or from battle to battle as the Civil War took over the majority of the US land mass.

In the Black Country The Cannon Hollowware Company, later to become Cannon Industries, produced a number of stoves heated by the now-popular towns gas. The most popular was probably the Grosvenor introduced in 1895, the Grosvenor was all the rage partly because, as the advertising blur of the day informed potential purchasers, it "comes complete with internal chambers for utilizing waste heat after it (leaves) the fire" . This popular stove sold intensively in urban areas, came in two sizes and may be viewed as the forerunner of Cannon's one hundred year involvement in gas fire production.

As the twenty century dawned stoves were not a popular means of heating the nations living rooms. The 'working class' could not afford the coal to heat themselves properly, let alone 'expensive' stoves to improve the way the fuel burnt. The middle class within cities used gas fires while country travelers did not like the aesthetics of these heavily decorated appliances that looked out of place in their demure homes. Among the landed gentry and new enriched, stoves were popular but not as a heating source for public rooms. Large kitchens, servant's halls or nurseries may boast a stove but the rooms seen by visitors would include an open fire which was fed and cleaned by servants who represented 10% of the UK population in pre World War I Britain.

Throughout the first sixty years of the twenty century stoves sold primarily to the commercial sector – to the growing numbers of offices, shops, railway waiting rooms and public buildings – together with a buoyant export trade to the Empire. Smith & Wellstood's 1912 catalog boasted over 200 designs (cooking 'Kitcheners' as well as heating stoves) with names like the Indess, The Moariess and the Sultana. Prices ranged from around 10s (50p!) And demand kept Smith & Wellstood in business right through to the 1980s. Possibly the Company's greatest claim to fame was their cooking stoves. Captain Scott famously took some on his ill-fated trip to reach the South Pole. One was found by an American expedition in 1953. They cleaned out the ash relit it and found that it worked perfectly.

One opening for stoves came with the discovery of large deposits of anthracite in South Wales and Scotland. Immediately after World War I mine owners approached Smith & Wellstood to make a stove, which could burn anthracite. The aftermath of the war, with over one million men dead, meant that better-off households had difficulty in finding servants, and anthracite with its all-night burning and clean products of combustion required far less work than traditional designs. Smith & Wellstood produced a whole range of designs like the Jeunesse, Artese and Francesse, which were the forerunners of modern solid fuel room heaters. In recognition the mine owners called their fuel 'Stovesse' – the suffix … esse being the origin of Ouzledale foundry's well-known brand name.

Clean air legislation in 1955/56 followed the month-long smoke-induced smogs of the early 50s and curtailed any market that had listed for the solid fuel stove. For fifteen years or so there was little UK market until the quadrupling of oil prices following the Six-day Arab Israeli War of 1973. Owners of large homes had installed oil boilers during the 1960s and now could not afford to heat their properties. Primarily country dwellers, they would have looked around for another source of heating and realized that many of them had supplies of wood available on their land. Stoves became popular and have remained so to the present day.